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Understanding Arjun

By Vishal Kale

Contributing Author for Spark Igniting Minds

Arjun is a name and a person who needs no introduction and is well-known among most Indians. A single mention is enough to trigger images of sharp intellect, of fearless fighting capability, of legendary archery and combat skills – none of these attributes needs further clarification for most of us. Yet, there are a few aspects of this great warrior, this prince among men, which deserve a much deeper look. These are attributes that do not readily come to mind. At best, the one quality that will occur to some is his bhakti for the Lord Shri Krishna, as evident in the Krushnaarjun Samvaad {Known popularly as the Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta}


Let us remind ourselves the background of this finest of creations on Earth, the KrushnaarjunSamvaad: it took place in the middle of a battlefield, on the eve of an epochal battle involving nearly all the known kingdoms of ancient Aryavart. In short, anyone who was a man of name and principles and his entire clan was there for the battle. This battle was coming on top of nearly one and a half decades of injustice; it involved relatives fighting against each other, baying for each other’s blood. There was a deluge of hatred flowing on the field that day. The battle was about to commence when this samvaad, this dialogue took place!


Just place yourself at that moment; try to imagine yourself in various shoes that day, as Arjun requested Shri Krishna to take the chariot to the middle of the battlefield. What must have gone through Arjun’s mind, or the minds’ of others? Imagine the pressure and the chaos that is always there in the run-up to any major engagement – be it business or politics. Imagine the mind of Arjun, and how he went indecisive, depressed and grief-stricken as he was confronted with the real price of his hunt for justice, as he realized that meant killing most of those whom he loved. Place yourself there, try and empathize.


As everyone knows, on that day Arjun refused to fight and kill the people he loved, despite them being wrong, despite his fight being a fight for justice. At that moment, he was overcome with emotion in the backdrop of chaos and high backbreaking pressure, indecisive and overwhelmed. That was his state of mind, and from there started the dialogue that is hailed across the planet today as the Krushnaarjun Samvaad – popularly known as the Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta. In that maelstrom took place a dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjun, a dialogue involving a very high degree of metaphysical, philosophical and practical esoteric concepts.

The concepts being revealed to Arjun that day were not easy to understand – not for us at any rate, as the countless interpretations and discussions of this wonderful dialogue that have spawned over the past few millennia have proven. They were deep, involved, abstract, and conveyed in a short span of time. And yet, despite his state of mind, Arjun was able to grasp the concepts with clarity. Not only that, even when he was not too clear {in the initial parts of the dialogue}, his questions were on-point, penetrating, specific and targeted. Think of that for a moment in the light of the entire scene on that day, on that battlefield of Kurukshetra. What does that tell us about this prince among men?

Perhaps the most ignored learning of the Krushnaarjun Samvaad {the Bhagwad Geeta} is the sagacity and perceptive intelligence of Arjun, his devotion, his rapt attention, his mental balance even in the midst of chaos and his sharp grasp of concepts being explained to him in that situation of crisis. Sagacious means having a keen and far-sighted penetration and judgment, which he displayed in full vigor on that day; his attention – which was especially remarkable given the circumstances; and his quick sharp grasp of the concepts. Add to that his penetrative questions – showing not just attention and respect, but also communication – specific, targeted honest questions eliciting specific responses.

About Vishal V Kale

Mr. Vishal V Kale

Vishal V Kale is a self-taught student of Vedant and avid reader books related to Spirituality, Economics, Business, and Trade.

Vishal is a Corporate Manager in Marketing & Operations, as well as an active blogger.

He blogs mostly on Business & Economics in addition to Spirituality and has two Blogs: ReflectionsVVK and Upanishadgyan

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